Monday, 7 September 2015

Blog Tour + Interview + Review + Giveaway - Gaia (Wings of War, #2) by Karen Ann Hopkins

Find the tour schedule here.

About Gaia:

As the Demons grow bolder and the walls between the planes of existence weaken, Ember is forced to develop her powers as quickly as possible, and she seeks out a powerful earth Watcher to continue her supernatural lessons. Her glimpse of the future demands she fight the dark forces spreading across the earth.

But her new mentor has his own agenda, making her question everyone and everything she ever trusted.

When Ember is thrust into the world of the Watchers, she learns of their plans—ones that defy the scripture and make them enemies of the Celestial Host. Ridding the world of evil gets complicated when it becomes impossible to take sides.

As Ember struggles with morality, she soon discovers that there’s something more frightening than anything she’s faced before.

Embers (Wings of War, #1)

There are descendants of angels walking among us. Ember is one of them. And she may be the only hope mankind has as the rapture approaches and evil rises. 

Embers is an epic paranormal adventure about an eighteen year old girl who discovers that she's immune to fire and any other injury when she’s in a horrific car crash that kills her parents. Following a violent episode with her aunt's boyfriend, Ember flees Ohio to live with an old relative in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. Ember's exuberance at escaping a bad home life soon turns to trepidation when she finds out that she's a Watcher, a descendant of angels. While Ember learns about her heritage and the powers that go along with it, she strikes up friendships with two young men who live in a frightening walled compound in the forest. Inexplicitly drawn to one of the men in particular, an impossible romance develops. But it is cut short when Ember discovers that her new friends are fighting on the opposite side of a war—one that’s been raging between two factions of Watchers for thousands of years. When the compound’s inhabitants threaten the townspeople, Ember takes action, sealing her fate in the ancient battle of good versus evil—and the grayness in between. Ember is up to the challenge, until she realizes that she isn’t only fighting for the lives of the locals and the souls of her new friends. She also might be one of the few champions who will make a stand for all of mankind as the rapture approaches and the end of days begin.

Embers is a dark and gritty YA novel that’s the first book in the series, The Wings of War.

Tour Schedule:

Monday, August 24th

Tuesday, August 25th
Behind The Pages (Guest Post)

Wednesday, August 26th

Thursday, August 27th

Friday, August 28th
Avid Reader Musings (Review/Guest Post)
Books and Things (Guest Post)

Monday, August 31st
Bewitched Bookworms (Guest Post)
Pause Time Reviews (Review/Guest Post)

Tuesday, September 1st
Addicted Readers (Guest Post)

Wednesday, September 2nd

Thursday, September 3rd
Sassy Book Lovers (Review/Guest Post)
Fire and Ice (Interview)

Friday, September 4th
Read by Amanda (Review)

Monday, September 7th
A Book Addict's Bookshelves (Review/Interview)

Tuesday, September 8th

Wednesday, September 9th

Thursday, September 10th
Book Lovers Life (Guest Post)
So Bookalicious (Review/Interview)

Friday, September 11th

Monday, September 14th
the bookdragon (Interview)
God's Girl, Books and Coffee (Review/Interview)

Tuesday, September 15th
Jessie Marie Reads (Review/Guest Post)
Sassy & Dangerous (Guest Post)

Wednesday,September 16th
Mortal Moments (Review/Guest Post)
Roxy's Reviews (Review/Guest Post)

Thursday, September 17th
Hearrs Reading (Review/Interview)

Friday, September 18th
Literary Meanderings (Guest Post)

 When did you start writing?

For many years I wrote articles featured in the local newspaper about the 4H equestrian club I coached and riding stable I owned. I didn’t begin formally writing fiction until 2009, when I relocated from Tennessee to a northern Kentucky farm in the middle of an
Amish community. My new neighbors, especially the teenagers, inspired me to write the tale of forbidden romance between an Amish boy and a non-Amish (English) girl.
Temptation was purchased by Harlequin Teen in November of 2010 and was first published in 2012.

What makes you want to write?

Initially, I began writing because of my fascination with the Amish living around me. I felt there was a story to tell and that I was the right person to tell it. After I finished the Temptation series, I realized I had a genuine knack for storytelling and loved doing it.
Writing my adult Amish mystery series, Serenity’s Plain Secrets, and my dystopian/paranormal series, the Wings of War, finally made me think of myself as an author and I pursued writing as a fulltime career.

Do you ever get writer's block and what do you do to get over it?
I haven’t had that problem very much. I don’t force myself to write. Instead, I let inspiration and excitement about setting or characters drive my stories. But when I do hit bumps along the way, I turn off the computer and head outside for a horse-back ride.
Even if it’s blistering hot, raining or snowing, I do this. It clears my mind and suddenly the answers to whatever issues were frustrating me come flowing in.

Do you have a special way of going about writing?
When I wrote the Temptation series, it was late at night or early in the morning to accommodate my daytime job, the farm chores and homeschooling my children. This past year, I’ve arranged my schedule to begin writing directly after lunch until early
evening. The rhythm seems to be working and I’m not so sleep deprived. I also like writing when it’s quiet and I have at least five hours to commit to it. I’ve found that writing in short spurts doesn’t work for me. 

Do you have any works in progress?

I’m planning to release SUMMER’S SONG, the fifth Temptation novel, TEMPEST, the third book in the Wings of War saga, and HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT, the fourth mystery in Serenity’s Plain Secrets in 2016! It’s going to be a very busy year for me.

What are your hobbies?

Horse-back riding, hiking, taking care of the farm animals, rescuing animals in need, and hanging out with my five children, husband, family and friends. And of course, reading.

How did you choose the character names for The Wings of War series?

I always visualize my characters first, imagining their features, their voices and personalities. Once I do this, the names just pop into my head. Embers’ name is the only exception. It was originally Tanna. A close friend of mine read the first draft and suggested the name change and I loved it.

Who is your favourite character in The Wings of War series?
It’s a tie between Sawyer and Ivan. I love Sawyer’s brutal honesty. He’s straight forward and there’s no limit to what he’ll do for Ember. He’s a tortured soul, always struggling with morality, even though he’s a Demon. Ivan is the kid everyone wants as a best friend.
He’s loyal to a fault and he can change into a wolf. Need I say more?

How did you get the idea for The Wings of War series?

It was a daydream long before I began writing the Temptation series. When I needed a break from the Amish world, I decided to tackle it. Ironically, in Gaia, I infused some Amish into the story anyway.

What was your favourite part of writing GAIA?

I’m a firm believer in building a solid world in any story, but especially in fantasy novels.
That’s what I did in Embers. I introduced readers to a new world with its very own lore and legends. You met Ember, Ila, Sawyer and Ivan and hopefully you developed interest and affection for the characters. But it’s hard work to develop a world, storyline and
characters. When I began Gaia, I already had the foundation laid and was able to jump straight into the epic world of the Wings of War.

What are you currently reading?

I’m dividing my time between a book about the lost colony of Roanoke and another about the history of the bible. When I’m not writing and editing my own work, I tend to grab up bargain non-fiction books, which are either research for my writing endeavors or inspiration for future stories. 

What is your favourite book?

It’s a tie between Watership Down by Richard Adams and Anna Sewell’s Black Beauty.
These books captured my imagination as a child and stuck with me into adulthood. Being an avid animal lover has influenced my choices and I’ve read them to my children too many times to count. There are important lessons to be learned about humanity for
children and adults alike in these books, as well as being entertaining, well-written and heart wrenching.

Who is your favourite author?

Richard Adams. Any man who could write two incredible novels as different as Watership Down and Maia is a master of storytelling.

What is your favourite film?

It’s hard to pick just one. Here are some of my favorites: The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Gladiator, The Last of the Mohicans (Daniel Day Lewis), Gone with the Wind and Matrix. 

What is your favourite TV show? 

Same deal. I have a handful I’m watching right now:
Game of Thrones, Hell on Wheels, Davinci’s Demons, Supernatural, Walking Dead, Justified and Sleepy Hollow.

Quick-fire questions:

Chocolate or ice cream? Chocolate ice cream.
Paperback or ebook? Paperback.
Dogs or cats? I have 4 dogs and 8 cats. Sorry I can’t pick!
Go out or stay in? Stay in.
Summer or winter? Summer.

Thank you for being a part of Gaia’s blog tour! I love to connect with readers on my Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram or at Please be on the lookout for the release of SECRETS IN THE GRAVE, the third installment in my
mystery series, Serenity’s Plain Secrets, in early September! 

Thanks for reading!

Karen Ann Hopkins 

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Karen Ann Hopkins and Kismet Book Touring*

3/5 stars

Demons are running loose and Ember needs to find a new mentor to help develop and control her powers.
As Ember learns more about Watchers she also finds out more about Angels.
Can Ember trust her new mentor?
What will Ember’s position be in the upcoming battle?

Gaia was an interesting, action-packed read.
Ember was likeable but sometimes her actions contradicted what she was thinking/saying. I liked reading as Ember grew stronger and learned more about her inheritance.
The plot was good with lots of action and a storyline that held my attention but I wasn’t gripped. There were some good twists but there were also some things that I saw coming. It was good to see more of Piper and Ember’s brother.
The romance was put on the backburner which I liked as I wasn’t a fan of the romance in the first book.
I enjoyed Gaia a lot more than the first book.

Overall this was an enjoyable read.

About the Author

Karen Ann Hopkins resides in northern Kentucky with her family on a farm that boasts a menagerie of horses, goats, peacocks, chickens, ducks, rabbits, dogs and cats. Karen's main job is home schooling the kids, but she finds time to give riding lessons, coach a youth equestrian drill team, and of course, write. She was inspired to create her first book, Temptation, by the Amish community she lived in. The experiential knowledge she gained through her interactions with her neighbors drove her to create the story of the star-crossed lovers, Rose and Noah.

Karen grew up about a mile from Lake Ontario in Upstate New York. She was bitten by the horse bug at the age of five, and after diligently taking riding lessons for several years, was rewarded with her first horse when she turned eleven. The feisty horse's name was Lady, a Quarter Horse-Thoroughbred cross, who became Karen's steadfast companion. Through the years, the constant force in her life was horses. Eventually, she found her place as a riding instructor herself. Before accepting her fate in the barnyard, she worked a short stint as a paralegal, traveled abroad, and guided tourists on horseback riding tours in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee.

Karen is currently working on her Amish mystery series, Serenity's Plain Secrets, along with the YA paranormal/fantasy series, The Wings of War.  Karen is also excited to announce the Temptation series has been optioned for TV by Pilgrim Studios and is available on Audible. More books in the Temptation series are in the works.

 Author links:

Tour-wide giveaway

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